Getting work

Hey I was wondering can I still get a deckhand position on a vessel if I have TWIC but not my MMC yet?

Doubtful, considering all the people with full credentials that can’t get a job

You won’t get any work without your MMC.

[QUOTE=BrandonLawhorn;190249]You won’t get any work without your MMC.[/QUOTE]

now FoghornLawhorn is providing advice and he’s never even seen a ship except in the movies

hey Joe…if you’re in or near Seattle and want to be a deckhand without an MMC, I have work for you!

Hey C.captain are you serious I’m up for it what company is it?

[QUOTE=Joe1823;190303]Hey C.captain are you serious I’m up for it what company is it?[/QUOTE]

hey Joe, what do you know about adjusting governors?

Thats a good question Joe. :slight_smile:

Hey, Emrobo I’m not familiar with adjusting governors what is that

[QUOTE=Joe1823;190227]Hey I was wondering can I still get a deckhand position on a vessel if I have TWIC but not my MMC yet?[/QUOTE]

The answer is yes, you can.
Will you find a job is a different story. Without an MMC you will be limited to boats less than 100 grt…and even some companies with boats less than 100 grt want you to have an MMC.
So if you have your twic it sure doesn’t hurt to start looking to see whats out there…but getting your MMC should be a priority for the future.
This isn’t a time to be picky either. Lots of seasoned mariners are out of work or working in a lesser capacity these days, so take anything you can get starting out.

[QUOTE=Joe1823;190227]Hey I was wondering can I still get a deckhand position on a vessel if I have TWIC but not my MMC yet?[/QUOTE]
Fishing vessels do not require MMC for the position of ordinary seaman (also called “deckhand”) or cook.

A fishing vessel may mean anything from a small boat that catches fish, to a largish ship that processes the fish (fish processor), to a boat that both catches the fish and processes it, or one that just transports fish (fish tender). These vessels may be 60’ long to 300+’ long, with tonnages 1600 GT or even larger. What they have in common is they do not legally require a MMC for ordinary seaman or cook. In the Pacific Northwest/Alaska, entry level positions are generally available in what is called “A-Season”, beginning in January, and “B-Season” beginning in June. In Fall Alaskan fishing winds down, and positions become increasingly hard to get until late December/January.

If you go up to Alaska and want to work on a fishing boat, they dont care about that sort of stuff at all. The money is good but the waters are holy shit scary. I did one 30 day job up there and it takes a different breed of person to work in those waters on tiny boats and thats just not me lol. I could not even stand up it was so violent.

[QUOTE=quihgon;190547]If you go up to Alaska and want to work on a fishing boat, they dont care about that sort of stuff at all. The money is good but the waters are holy shit scary. I did one 30 day job up there and it takes a different breed of person to work in those waters on tiny boats and thats just not me lol. I could not even stand up it was so violent.[/QUOTE]

I would agree that it takes a different breed of mariner to work in Alaska, and that rough weather may seem to be the rule rather than the exception.

The range of size between Alaskan fishing vessels is enormous. It is hard to describe all the different types of fishing boats there are out there, in a single post. The smallest type of Alaskan commercial fishing vessel is represented by the myriad of 32’ long salmon gillnetters working in Bristol Bay. These boats are owner/skipper type arrangements. A 2 to 3-person crew is common. Crew are often family members or friends. Salmon boats fish late-May to August (maybe September) and hang around the mouths of rivers, for the most part. Hiring for these is rough and ready, and certificates are not needed. Pay is by the pound. You may clear $xx,0000 in a single Summer. You may earn bumpkiss.

The largest Alaskan fishing vessel is the Ocean Phoenix (ex-Sea Land container ship President Kennedy) at 680’ feet long. She is the largest documented fishing vessel in the U.S. fleet. She has a 3-watch system of licensed officers, licensed engineers, and a complement of certificated ABs. You won’t have much trouble staying on your feet on her, even in 40’ seas. More representative of hiring opportunities in Alaskan fishing are the factory trawlers like the Arctic Storm at 334’ LOA x 49’ beam x 20’ draft, and Arctic Fjord, 272’ x 44’ x 28’. These are well-maintained Cadillacs of the Alaskan fleet. Then, there are the ATA fish tenders between 260 and 240’ LOA. Licensed officers, certificated ABs.

It is usual on factory trawlers and longliners (another type of fishing boat) for deckhands to be selected from the ranks of the “processors”. While a big factory trawler may have a crew of 130 people, the actual legal crew (officers and certificated mariners) may be as few 12. Most of the rest of the boat’s complement are factory workers, gutting, filleting and otherwise processing the fish into frozen “product”. Unglamorous, hard work, paid by the hour, often with a bonus for extra production. Certainly not a king’s ransom. Factory wages for factory work. Entry-level deckhands and wipers are most often chosen from the ranks of the best processors, rather than from “outside”.

So if you want to get your foot in the door of a factory trawler, you actually need to start off as a processor, and work your way up. After you get a deckhand post you start accumulating time toward getting an AB certificate. A factory trawler AB job can be well paid. While not all such ABs make six -figures per year, many do. But like the rest of the seagoing world, a big annual paycheck means more days away from home than otherwise.

There are “catcher” boats that catch groundfish for shoreplants. They just catch the cod and pollock and pass it on to a shoreplant for processing. Each boat will have an AB or two. Catcher boats are extremely hard to get entry level jobs on, because they are paid extremely well, better than factory trawlers, and openings go to friends and family.

I won’t talk about Alaskan crabbing. All I know of crabbing comes from watching TV. Apparently requisites for a crabbing job (based on TV watching) include poor impulse control and arteriosclerosis.

ATA fish tenders do hire entry level deckhands and wipers, without MMC. About 200 people apply a year, out of which about 6 are hired.